Read the three following paragraphs and determine whether the topic sentence is at the beginning or the end of the paragraph, or if it is implied.
Our culture celebrates youth and beauty and mass media perpetuates an unrealistic ideal. The evidence is all around us all the time. On the pages of magazines and in TV commercials are images of unbelievably thin and flawlessly beautiful models whose features are enhanced by lighting, makeup, and airbrushing. These images reinforce a vision of a largely unattainable notion of perfection. Even the models are not as perfect as they appear. Yet, people are willing to spend great amounts of money on cosmetics, cosmetic surgery, and other physical enhancements in an effort to appear young and beautiful.
The topic sentence comes at the beginning: Our culture celebrates youth and beauty and mass media perpetuates an unrealistic ideal. All the sentences that follow relate directly to that statement.
Many new cars come equipped with a navigation system. Some new luxury cars, amazingly, can even park themselves. Most have cameras that are activated when you back up. Many will let you know if you are changing lanes or getting too close to something. Some vans and SUVs come with DVD players to entertain the kids in the back seat or have iPod and iPhone connections in addition to state-of-the-art sound systems that play CDs and satellite radio. With twenty-first century technology, automobiles are getting smarter, more comfortable, and easier to drive.
The topic sentence comes at the end. The examples that come at the beginning are summed up by the topic sentence: With twenty-first century technology, automobiles are getting smarter, more comfortable, and easier to drive.
Among the pines, the aspens dotted the slopes above and below the trail, creating random shadows as the light breeze caused their leaves to flutter. A chipmunk skittered over a log and disappeared behind a rock. All around, the natural world worked unceasingly. Then a candy wrapper that was stuck in a clump of grass rattled and blew across the trail, disrupting the tranquility of the moment.
The topic sentence is implied. It would be something like this:
Human insensitivity can spoil the beauty of nature.
Each of the preceding paragraphs is unified by its topic sentence, which expresses the main idea of the paragraph. Notice that all the content of each paragraph is related directly to that single controlling idea expressed in the topic sentence.Back to Top